NATO destroying thousands of homes. NYT applauds.

November 17, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

You know how when Israel destroys or damages houses in the course of war, it is considered a war crime? And groups like HRW cannot for the life of them find any justification for such behavior?

Apparently, when NATO performs wholesale destruction of civilian houses on a huge scale, it is obviously to save lives.

From the New York Times:

To Save Lives, NATO Is Razing Booby-Trapped Afghan Homes

In the newly won districts around this southern city, American forces are encountering empty homes and farm buildings left so heavily booby-trapped by Taliban insurgents that the Americans have been systematically destroying hundreds of them, according to local Afghan authorities.

The campaign, a major departure from NATO practice in past military operations, is intended to reduce civilian and military casualties by removing the threat of booby traps and denying Taliban insurgents hiding places and fighting positions, American military officials said.

While it has widespread support among Afghan officials and even some residents, and has been accompanied by an equally determined effort to hand out cash compensation to homeowners, other local people have complained that the demolitions have gone far beyond what is necessary.

…In recent weeks, using armored bulldozers, high explosives, missiles and even airstrikes, American troops have taken to destroying hundreds of them, by a conservative estimate, with some estimates running into the thousands.

“We don’t know the accurate number of homes destroyed, but it’s huge,” said Zalmai Ayubi, the spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, Tooryalai Wesa.

The Times goes on to approvingly mention that the military has to create their own roads, often bulldozing houses and farms, to avoid mines.

They even have a picture of soldiers blowing up trees to improve their line of fire.

When Israel does anything remotely like this, on a much smaller scale, the NYT first quotes sympathetic Arabs who have lost their homes, then frightening statistics about the scale of the wanton destruction, and then in paragraph 9 a statement by the IDF that the homes had explosives or were booby trapped. But here, the people who protest their homes being destroyed are the ones who get the Paragraph 9 treatment. Or, in this case, paragraphs 25 and 26, the very last paragraphs of the article:

Abdul Rahim Khan, 50, a tribal elder from Spirwan in Panjwai District, claimed that in many cases the American troops had been destroying empty homes, even when there were not any explosives inside. However, military officers pointed out, searching empty homes was often too dangerous.

“People are not happy with the compensation,” said a tribal elder in Zhare, who said he was afraid to give his name for publication. “Compensation is just kicking dirt in our eyes.”

As Meryl Yourish says, it is Israeli Double Standard Time!

(h/t Zach)

Elder of Ziyon

Lou Dobbs talks, Coral Springs crowd applauds

November 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Feel-good entertainment is a staple at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, where the Kosher Comedy Tour, Doo-Wop Oldies Christmas Show and Neil Sedaka are coming attractions.

On Tuesday, the venue sizzled with political rhetoric from an act that didn’t provide anything soothing in the 55-minute show.

More than 1,400 people were treated to a dose of conservative commentary from syndicated radio talker Lou Dobbs, the former CNN. He spoke and answered audience questions posed by South Florida’s most prominent conservative radio talker, Joyce Kaufman.

Both appear weekdays on WFTL 850 AM, which sponsored the event free for station listeners.

Kaufman’s been in the headlines in the last week. Congressman-elect Allen West, R-Plantation, picked her to be his chief of staff.

Days later she relinquished the job after liberal cable personalities and the blogosphere hammered her with video of a July 4 speech in which Kaufman said she was convinced that “the most important thing the founding fathers did to ensure me my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment” right to bear arms. “And if ballots don’t work, bullets will.”

The controversy didn’t get much attention Tuesday. The audience applauded when Kaufman said she’d remain on the air locally. And when Dobbs said he’s keynoted tea party events, Kaufman deadpanned, “you’ve got to be careful with that.”

Otherwise, the evening was devoted to Dobbs, who received enthusiastic responses from the audience, especially when he described himself as “first and foremost an American citizen,” lamented “those who would apologize for this country,” and hailed the results of the midterm elections. “What a wonderful, wonderfully day Nov. 2nd was.”

Broward Politics

Bill Maher Applauds Osama Bin Laden for His Stance on Global Warming

October 9, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

If global warming is the modern secular religion, HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher has bought into it hook, line and sinker.

On the Oct. 8 broadcast of his program, immediately following a segment criticizing a congressional candidate that was a Nazis reenactor for exercising bad judgment, Maher ironically had some words of praise for the founder of al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden, who is believed to have ordered the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks which caused the deaths of over 2,700 people on American soil.

Why would bin Laden be worthy of such praise? Because of his statement on the issue of anthropogenic global warming, which according to Maher was devoid of the usual violent rhetoric one might expect from a leader of extremist Islam.

“All right, let me ask — let me quote another person who is not in favor in this country and that’s Osama bin Laden,” Maher said. “He put out a tape last week. And there was nothing about violence or attacking America. See, Lindsay Lohan, people can change. It was about the Pakistani flood.”

Maher read the quote from bin Laden, which suggested the industrialized nations were at fault for the recent flooding in Pakistan.

“And his quote – show it there, he said, ‘Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury,’” Maher said, reading bin Laden’s quote. “‘The phenomenon is an actual fact. All the industrialized countries, especially the big ones, bear the responsibility for testimony global warming crisis.’”

And based on that statement, Maher determined bin Laden was worthy of praise because they agreed on an issue that Maher’s political opponents haven’t bought into.
“Well, I guess my question is, how come a guy in a cave gets it better than every Republican voting for the Senate
?” Maher said.

That statement received applause from the “Real Time” in-studio audience, but later in the segment, Maher suggested bin Laden was speaking out in goodwill to draw attention to this crisis in Pakistan because it really didn’t get a lot of coverage in the media.

“Let just say this,” Maher said. “He made this statement because Pakistan – this really didn’t make the papers, but Pakistan had a giant flood this year. And it is the sixth biggest country in the world, and a fifth of it was underwater and 21 million people were displaced. And it was worse than the tsunami.”

S.E. Cupp, author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity” suggested to Maher that maybe he was trying to capitalize on the flood by blaming the United States and whipping up more anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.

“A lot of people think the United States created this flood,” Cupp said. “And that’s the kind of meme he is trying to jump on.”

Nonetheless, Maher didn’t concede that, but just suggested bin Laden was correct and alluded the recent heat wave in Southern California as another example of global warming.

“Global warming may have something to do with it,” Maher replied. “That’s what he was saying. It was 113 degrees in this city last week. Maybe it was more, but the thermometer broke. I’m not lying. The thermometer broke.” - Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Group applauds inclusion of abortion in ‘Pledge’

September 23, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Washington (CNN) - They’re not prominent, but social issues are addressed in the House Republicans’ “Pledge to America,” which GOP lawmakers in the House formally unveiled Thursday. And a social conservative group is applauding the move and says their efforts may have helped push the language into the document.

The 21-page document does include a “pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.”

Lower in the document, there’s a call for opposition to the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, which is tied to the larger issue of overhauling the new health care reform law.

Several Republican sources said there was no intention to directly address social issues because the electorate is so heavily focused on jobs and spending. But the language was added, according to a GOP source, after conservative Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana argued that social issues should be included in the document representing the agenda of House Republicans.

The Susan B. Anthony List on Thursday applauded the release of the document.

“Today, in its ‘Pledge to America’ the pro-life Republican House leadership has echoed the voices of pro-life Americans calling for a Congress that will protect Life. The pro-life legislative priorities included in their Pledge reinforce Republican Party unity as we approach these critical mid-term elections,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, in a statement.

“The Susan B. Anthony List looks forward to mobilizing our grassroots network of over 280,000 pro-life Americans in support of the strongly pro-life GOP leadership and new members in order to pass this and other commonsense pro-life legislation right away in the next Congress,” added Dannenfelser.

The group, also known as SBA, is a non-profit organization with a mission to advance politicians who oppose abortion. SBA says that in the weeks leading up to the release of the Pledge, they mobilized more than 10,000 people to petition House GOP leaders to make sure abortion language was included in the document.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

CNN Political Ticker

MoDo Applauds Gibbs for Making Shit Up

August 16, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

I know. It almost never pays to read one of MoDo’s columns seriously. But enough good lefties are pointing to this one approvingly, I thought I’d do them the favor of pointing out how typically stupid it is.

Let’s start with this lovely four-sentence passage:

Not because of his outburst against the “professional left.” He was right about that. In an interview with The Hill last week, Gibbs once more proved Michael Kinsley’s maxim that a gaffe is just truth slipping out.

He said the president’s lefty critics “ought to be drug-tested,” would only “be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon,” and “wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

MoDo says Gibbs “was right” in his intemperate rant early this week. Then she goes on to repeat two attacks Gibbs used-that we should be drug-tested and we want to eliminate the Pentagon-that he made up out of thin air.  Even CBS’ Chip Reid-not usually one to point out blatant lies-called Gibbs on the fact that no one, in fact, has ever actually called to eliminate the Pentagon.

Q    Well, who wants to eliminate the Pentagon?

MR. GIBBS:  I think that was — wasn’t that a proposal during the presidential campaign?  Didn’t Dennis Kucinich — or maybe it was adding the Department of Peace.

Q    The Department of Peace -

Q    There’s a big difference between adding a Department of Peace and eliminating the Pentagon.

(Though I will say I am among those who believes Canadian health care would be an improvement.)

Shorter MoDo: I think Gibbs is at his best when he just makes shit up about people I don’t like.

Much of the rest of MoDo’s column illogically complains that Democrats aren’t as effective as Republicans at using their activists, but then accepts the DC narrative that Dems shouldn’t embrace their activists because we’re “radicals:”

Rand Paul and Sharron Angle aside, Republicans often find a way to exploit their extremes for political advantage, while Democratic extremes typically do damage to a Democratic president.One of the most disgusting things about Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl, and now the former maverick John McCain, is that they are happy to be co-opted by the radicals in their party to form one movement against President Obama.

On the Republican side, the crazies often end up helping the Republican leadership. On the Democratic side, the radicals are constantly sniping at Obama, expressing their feelings of betrayal.

Therein lies MoDo’s blindness: the problem here is not with liberal activists espousing real solutions. The problem is the fact that Democrats are so disdainful of their activists they prefer demonizing them rather than embracing their moderate solutions that are, themselves, pragmatic compromises. MoDo’s column, then, is actually part of the problem, not something to link approvingly.

Besides, why would any self-respecting liberal link approvingly to what is basically more self-indulgent bitching from the press?

MoDo’s “clever” point is ultimately that Gibbs should be fired not because he made shit up in his attack on the party’s base, but because he is mean to journalists.

He needs to communicate more clearly. And, in that department, Gibbs isn’t helpful. He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.

Call me crazy, but I think any press spokesperson who gets caught blatantly making shit up about any topic should be fired because he should, after that point, lose all credibility.

But not with this press corps. Not with MoDo, who finds Robert Gibbs most right when he just makes shit up. And then complains that Robert Gibbs doesn’t take “journalists” like her-the ones who applaud him for making shit up-seriously.

Related posts:

  1. Gibbs’ Walk-Back: Clueless about “in America”
  2. Helen Would Have Asked about the Rape Threats for Teens
  3. “He didn’t threaten anybody. He opined.”


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